The biggest aspirations of the twenty- something year old heroine of Bethany Pierce's new novel, Amy Inspired, consist of becoming a published writer and getting married. The main character, Amy Gallagher, a creative writing instructor, admits: "I love the attention of men I can't have... I try so hard to be the kind of Christian I was raised to be, but I am starting to wonder what that really looks like". (p. 200-201) This book is an example of a new genre of contemporary "Christian" romance books, whereas the lukewarm characters act on their politically correct morals and conscious, faced with minimal challanges, and there is always a happy fairy tale ending where goodness and justice prevail.
While it is not the intention of this book, an underlying assumption is that a woman can only find true fullfilment in a relationship with a man, and that the beautiful young heroine always has a prospective suitor around the corner. The author Bethany Pierce, in the prologue, is a self professed optimist. As a young girl, the powerful writing of Anne Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl" stirred uncomfortable feelings for Bethany, that she felt were difficult to reconcile with her own optimistic world view. As a result, Bethany's mom suggested that she "read something nice; it was best not to think aboput things I couldn't change". Hence, her first novel, is a simple, happy story about relationships and accomplishing one's "inspired" goals of writing and getting married. If you enjoy romance novels, and shy away from heavy duty reading/ literature , this is the book for you. Keep in mind as far as romance novels go, this one is pretty indpth, rich in detail and dialogue. I can imagine those readers who enjoyed those Barbie made for TV movie fairy tales or Babysitter series books, graduating to novels such as these in adulthood. Nevertheless, Pierce is a skilled writer, and this book makes a good addition to the "Christian" romance genre. As a blogger for Bethany House publishers, I recieved this book free for the purpose of writing a review.